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March 2-3, 2019—AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas — The sixth annual RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo culminated inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, over the course of the two-day event with yet another historic rodeo. Fans witnessed $2 million paid out and, for the first time at The American, a breakaway roping champion crowned.

“The best part of The American every year is the athletes,” Rural Media Group CEO Randy Bernard said in a press conference following the final round. “To see how wholesome, appreciative and humble they are is special, and we need more athletes like them.”

In the barrel racing, Hailey Kinsel and the unstoppable DM Sissy Hayday rocked the house, turning in a 14.217 to take home the championship in the clean-slate shootout round March 3. The 2017 RFD-TV’s The American champion and 2018 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer guided her flashy palomino “Sister” to three stellar runs over the course of the weekend. In the long round March 2, the duo from Cotulla, Texas, turned in a time of 14.508 for fourth place in the long round of 20 and advancement to Sunday’s show.

Sunday’s rodeo was broken into two rounds, the first featuring the top eight fastest times from Saturday’s performance and the second round the clean-slate shootout round to determine The American champion. In the round of eight, Kinsel and the 8-year-old mare by PC Frenchmans Hayday and out of Royal Sissy Irish by Royal Shake Em turned in a time of 14.538 for second in the section to bring their aggregate time to 29.046 to qualify back to the shootout round.

Kylie Weast and Heavenly Firewater (2012 stallion, JL Dash Ta Heaven x Fire Water Fanny x Fire Water Flit) topped Saturday’s long round with a 14.398 to move into Sunday’s top eight. Craig Brooks and Grandiose Guy (2013 gelding, BHR Frenchies Socks x For The Fame x Dash Ta Fame) topped the round of eight with a 14.495 and took the lead in the aggregate with a 28.996. The duo advanced to the final four and was the only qualifier to make it to the shootout round.

In the final four, Kinsel and Sister dominated the round with the fastest time of the rodeo, a 14.217 to take home their second RFD-TV’s The American championship. Kinsel joins the club with fellow two-time American barrel racing champion Lisa Lockhart.

Ultimately, Kinsel and Sister made three runs before being crowned champions. Kinsel says she’s careful to save those big requests of her horse for occasions like The American.

“She stays sharp,” Kinsel said of keeping Sister working through multiple runs. “I don’t have to do much there—her adrenaline level’s pretty high, so that sharpness doesn’t go away. Mainly I try to keep her calm, but it helps when the ground’s good like this, so huge thank you to the ground crew. It keeps them wanting to turn and wanting to work when you have to come back and make multiple runs. I was bottom of the ground my first two runs. I was fifth on it and I was third out in the second, and I had some stumbles, I had some slips, but the fact that it felt good enough to her is what keeps them working—coming back three runs later and still trying, that’s good.”

As always, Kinsel gave her glory to God and her horse from atop the winner’s stage.

“There’s no magic to it, I’m living proof of an imperfect person serving a big God,” Kinsel said.

Kylie Weast and Heavenly Firewater run to the first barrel
Kylie Weast and Heavenly Firewater win the long round at the 2019 American Rodeo. BHN Photo by Kailey Sullins

Barrel Racing Long Round Results 

  1. Kylie Weast, Heavenly Firewater, 14.398
  2. Jessie Telford, Famous Cool Whip, 14.490
  3. Craig Brooks, Grandiose Guy, 14.501
  4. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 14.508
  5. Sydni Blanchard, Famous Heartbreaker, 14.520
  6. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 14.628
  7. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 14.661
  8. Taci Bettis, Bogie Is A Smash, 14.743 (cutoff to advance)
  9. Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 14.774
  10. Debbie Pate, Creditthefirefighter, 14.865
  11. Sarah McCormick, Down Town Streakin, 14.872
  12. Michael Duffie, Reclaim Fame, 14.943
  13. Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 14.957
  14. Stevi Hillman, Morning Traffic, 14.970
  15. Carman Pozzobon, Black Gold Jack, 14.972
  16. Anita Randle, Eyesa Topaz, 15.000
  17. Brandon Cullins, A Cornerstone, 15.122
  18. Acey Pinkston, Laico Corona, 15.404
  19. Nellie Miller and Rafter W Minnie Reba, 14.531 +5
  20. Taylor Langdon, Dashinlouie, 15.034+5

The American Round of Eight Results

  1. Craig Brooks, Grandiose Guy, 14.495
  2. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 14.538
  3. Taci Bettis, Bogie Is A Smash, 14.566
  4. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 14.570
  5. Kylie Weast, Heavenly Firewater, 14.678
  6. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 14.738
  7. Jessie Telford, Famous Cool Whip, 14.585+5
  8. Sydni Blanchard, Famous Heartbreaker, 14.725+5
Craig Brooks and Grandiose Guy turn the third barrel
Craig Brooks and Grandiose Guy turned in the fastest time of the round of eight. BHN Photo by Kailey Sullins

The American Final Four Qualifiers—Aggregate 

  1. Craig Brooks, 28.996
  2. Hailey Kinsel, 29.046
  3. Kylie Weast, 29.076
  4. Amberleigh Moore, 29.198

The American Final Four Results

  1. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 14.217, $100,000
  2. Kylie Weast, Heavenly Firewater, 14.462, $25,000
  3. Craig Brooks, Grandiose Guy, 15.361, $10,000
  4. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 14.462+5, $5,000

When RFD-TV created the Junior American and added breakaway roping to The American in 2019, they didn’t intend on having the same champion for both. Madison Outhier finished in the top two of the Junior American, earning her a spot at AT&T Stadium where she won the shootout round, earning $110,000 for the weekend. The high school sophomore rode her homebred and -trained horse to success with a time of 2.29 seconds and expressed her gratitude for competing in breakaway on a large stage. Finishing second and taking home $25,000 is the only other roper who received a time in the breakaway, Taylor Munsell. Jackie Crawford and Kelsie Chace also competed in the shootout round.

To find out more and see full results from all events, visit AmericanRodeo.com.

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Author

Kailey Sullins is managing editor of Barrel Horse News, and an avid barrel racer and breakaway roper. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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